Crossing over from India to Nepal proved to be the most memorable bus ride, ever. I sometimes still wake up in the middle of the night with a start, reminding myself I'm in my cozy bed and not sardined in that tin can.
I hopped onto what my ticket promised to be a luxury bus, but what looked like a cramped shanty on wheels. Which, you know, was fine, I was used to it. What I wasn't used to was the sweaty ball smell that seemed to hover in the air and the fact that no one felt like tossing my backpack onto the roof, so I was left with the option of awkwardly cradling it like an eleven year old child on my lap for the next six hours. Actually, scratch that. The next thirteen hours. Our driver somehow managed to double the time what with all his chai and pastry breaks every hour on the hour, which wouldn't have sent my eye twitching into a frenzy if I could actually sleep on the blasted thing. But what with the Indian club music being on blast at 2am and the Ganesh shrine right across from me being adorned with blinking, psychedelic disco lights, I couldn't even try and flutter my eyes closed. Suffice it to say that by hour five I was trying to murder the bus driver with my brain waves. There was a lot of squinting and neck vein bulging going on.
Sadly, it did not work.
But once we finally rolled into Kathmandu and I shoved through those squeaky, rusty doors it was all worth it. Just LOOK at Nepal! I loved India, but my heart was left here. I'm already planning my grand adventure back.
PS: need a travel writer, travel editor, or travel photographer? I'd love to contribute to your project! Feel free to email me to talk shop.